Life is to short to live it without a smile...or a mustache

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Patterns We Draft.

First off, I was so excited to come up with a clever title on my last post I decided to leave it for last so it would be really good.  Then without noticing, I forgot to title the post at all...FAIL!  I did it first thing this time haha.

I have been busy since my last post.  I have also taken a couple big steps at work and I am really seeing progress and achievement everyday.  The first main stage show (musical) Next to Normal will open November 2nd and there is lots to get done still.  I am already prepping for when I start going to rehearsal and working as a dresser.  I had a my second PPM (Personal Progress Meeting)...were interns usually complain about what they don’t like and the supervisor tells you what to improve on....with Susan my supervisor and she told me that she didn’t know what to talk to me about because I was doing everything she could want me to be doing and then more.  We talked about more of my wants and goals and I am really excited to learn some really cool new stuff.  She is going to teach me a body blocking system that was invented by one of her mentors/teachers in the 70s when she was going to a dressing making school.  She says it is more true to the theatre and its needs for patterning a dress and calls for less alterations once the garment is crafted.  She also told me that she was going to release me for the next couple of weeks and have me answer to Sara, the costume designer for Next to Normal, and have me work as the assistant designer.  This means I have been driving a company car all over Florida, mall shopping with a company credit card, and carrying a lot of bags from really ritzy stores.  In fact yesterday, when we shopped Macy's for shoes, I was left with the card and tax exempt forms to check out and while Sara went over and started to shop another store.  $573 and a couple signatures later I had bought 6 pairs of shoes!  Talk about dropping some cash on one person in the show.

Also because of Next to Normal, I have recently been introduced to the art of making a "Rub Off".  No, that isn't something dirty for all of you reading this and immediately thought it was!  Family Friendly here!  Sara bought a dress from Mod Cloth that she loved but when it came it was cheap fabric, made poorly, and would be a nightmare to keep pressed each night for shows.  This means the intern makes the same dress in the same color, but in a different fabric.  I first drafted the dress on muslin, then transferred it to paper, added some inches here and there, add seam allowance and cut it all out. The dress is now in pattern form and I will start to cut and sew next week....this also means we will return the piece of crap dress and they will never know what happened.  In total I will have a week and two days until it needs to be put on the actress for dress parade. Pictures soon.

Speaking of pictures, I told you I would post my last project and it’s finally time. The Cabaret show, That's Life Again, just finished its 2nd week of 12 and is going great.  I saw the show again tonight and it was just as good  if not better.




Another thing that I learned on this show was, if you can’t find the green vest that you like under stage lights (6 ordered vests later) you take a gold one and color it.  Amazingly, it worked and it looks stunning on stage.  Who would have thought!?

I also can now add to my resume that I can strip leather shoes and re-dye them to get a black Cuban heal if needed and all you have are brown ones....

And no, I didn't use my favorite color dye that we own in the shop. My favorite is a pretty awesome color thought if you ask me...

Life in the sun lately has been great!  Temperatures have dropped and we are sitting mid to high 70s during the days.  I can walk to work the three blocks and not be hot and sweaty on my arrival.  The nights on the beach have also changed a bit. Early this week a group of us put some pants and jackets on and took a blanket and a couple bottles of wine to Lido Beach and sat and watched the tide crash in and looked at stars talking.  While the trip was breath taking and fun it also got a little serious at times when learning more about the friends I have made.  All our stories are so different yet we all have things in common.  Listening to some of the things people have been through and dealt with breaks my heart.  It also made me think about my life and what hard things I have had to go through.  I sat there sipping on my wine feeling guilty because I had nothing to add to the personal stories.  I have always felt a little poor compared to some but I know that I have always had what I ever wanted thanks to my mom.  I have never been in trouble or had to deal with civil authority controlling my life.  I have always been the nice teacher’s kid and able to do all the things I wanted and then some.  Mom would give up her own life for my brother and me at a drop of a hat if needed and see that we were happy.  Happy I am, and look where it has put me.  The patterns that construct our lives give us a beautiful one of a kind garment in the end that we all wear every day on stage.  I wouldn’t want anything different either!

Today is my last day off until November 7th so I am taking it easy.  I slept in, got up and cooked a real breakfast of eggs, sausage, and toast, I’m writing this post while doing laundry and watching Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley, and went to see some amazing actors in That’s Life Again in the Cabaret.  I missed college and home a lot more this week because the Fall Production Hay Fever was going on and I wasn’t there to see peoples work and passion.  I miss the days of creating my own thoughts in the classroom but am learning lots following the designer around and doing what I am told. 

This post I also wanted to share a couple signs that I found in Sarasota.  One is a Taco Bell sign promoting a new drink and the other is in the Toy Section at Wal-Mart…and yes those were right under the sign.

The next couple of weeks are going to be crazy but I am excited to work on my first equity show!  Stay warm where ever you are...because I sure am here in the sand!

P.S. Here are some shots from when I went to Universal Studios!


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Well, life is running at full speed and I am working on my tan here and there.  There is nothing more relaxing than playing in the ocean....not to much though as I am afraid to get eaten... and laying on the beach watching the sun set after a long hard day at work.  I believe I am fitting in well and people seem to like what I am doing.  Some of my biggest moments since my last post include, but are not limited to be told by Richard the Artistic Director and founder of the theatre that I am doing a great job even when he walks by the costume shop it looks like all I do is feel up the boobs on the dress forms; being told by an equity actor (while helping him into his tuxedo jacket at the dress parade) that he has never been treated this well at FST.  Broadway yes but never here; a director being speechless and then rave about the dress I helped drape and sew after Susan designed it; receiving the news that I will officially be able to dress the first Main stage show Next to Normal (full equity cast); and already being asked if I want to move to NYC with some other interns and actors after our internships are over (a little to early to even think about this one yet though).  Who would have known that I like what I do for the most part even though I heard some actors saying the other day, "They are all so cute.  So helpful now because it is all so new.  Just give it time and things will change."  I don’t think it will.  I feel like I have even more to offer than what I am being allowed at this moment.  I will show them who is helpful...and maybe it will help me in the end.

I wanted to share a couple of things that I have been working on since I have been here.  These are not fully finished shots but these will give you ideas of what I am learning.

The green and yellow tea length pleated skirts were made for the children’s show Jack and the Enchanted Bean Stalk.  Kids are brought to FST for one of three morning viewings of the show Monday-Friday.  It will also go on tour in two weeks for schools that are not able to come see the show.  All of this is part of the play writers program FST does.  It teaches kids about theatre and later in the year how to actually write a play.  The plays they create are submitted in the spring and about 5 of them are produced as part of the New Writers Festival.  The muslin mock up coat was also made or that show (the coat I talked about in my last post).  I later made the actual coat out of the leather you also see....yes those are a bunch of little baby cows I had to sew together to make big enough pieces of fabric to cut things out of....6 cows were used in the making of the coat. I guess I can't say, "No animals were harmed in the making of this product". Final pictures of all the things mentioned soon. 

Last Saturday was one of my new friend's birthday so of course we had to celebrate.  We went to a place called "The Beach Club".  It would say it would be a rundown equivalent to the MarQuee Lounge in Spokane, WA (for the record I would have to say Washington state if I was telling someone here about that).  Drinks were cheap and I even got a bottle chucked toward me on one of my trips to the bathroom.  "Deck Patrol" acted on it fast and the guys fighting in front of me were taken away by police....AWESOME!!!  Sunday was the best though.  Five of us woke up super early and drove a little over 2 hours to Universal Studios to use 5 free tickets that Kayliane had left over from a trip she had taken earlier in the summer.  I was like a little boy in a toy store all day!  Did every major movie ride and even the new giant roller coaster.
You even get to listen to your own choice of like 20 different songs while riding the coaster.  AMAZING!  This was the first time I had ever been to a park like this so every moment was fresh and pure like it would have been for a 6 year old.  I can't wait to go to Disney and the other Universal Park now!
This week it is opening week of our first Cabaret show That's Life Again, sequel to a show that was writen for FST two years ago.  There are 4 equity actors in the show and a lot of formal tuxedos and dresses to be worn.  The cast is great and seem to be taking me in as part of the theatre family fast.  Little did they know I would flip shit back at thier given shit.  We are getting along just fine!

Not only am a dealing with fitting issues in the shop, I am dealing with them in my own closet.  Since I have moved here I have lost 15 pounds and 2.75 inches around my waist.  I feel great and last week I joined the YMCA on a poor persons scholarship so I would be able to workout and take dance classes to relax.  I also have started running around the city and by far my favorite running spot is the bridge that leads to Lido Beach.  The sunset runs I have been taking are breath taking.  Here is a little taste of what a view from the bridge look like (not a sun set picture but you get the idea). 

Last week my housemates and I received a new housemate and things are now not at all the same.  He doesn't seem to flush the toilet, he is always on Skype with his online "Lord of the Ring" gamer friends thus taking up all the internet bandwidth, and he just rinses his dishes not using soap so things are always greasy and dirty.  We are trying to be nice about things but we foresee it will be a long teaching period.  All of this is quite a change for the guys who had the perfect housemate dynamic already and had the cleanest house in all of FST housing according to the company manager. 

Each day is a new day here and I never know what it will bring for me to measure up but it’s the little things that get me along.  My naked streaker Ken doll from Dave and Crystal that stands next to my computer screen on my desk, the special care packages and cards I have received from many, the texts that say " I wish you were here" (trust me I feel the same way),  the pictures from events people are at that I am usually part of, and lets not forget the clothing "gems" that I regularly find in the FST costume storage.  Exhibit A...

 Heck yes those are turn of the century riding pants!  I miss you all and am sad that I am missing out on all the fall weather and events you are doing.....of real I miss it.  The colors and smells are just not the same as they have been for the past 22 years.  I did find a place here that has a pumpkin patch so you can be I will be hitting that up.  Please drink an extra Pumpkin Chai from Laura at the Service Station, eat some extra honey sticks from Green Bluff, and stop to pick up some beautiful colored leaves from the trees on campus since I can't.  Like I said, it’s the little things that keep me on the serge.